Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: The Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Lesley Kagen

After she's diagnosed with breast cancer, forty-nine-year old Tess sets forth on a mission to complete her TO-DO List before, what she's sure is, her impending death. She needs to make peace with her estranged sister, Birdie, scatter her mother's long-kept ashes, rescue her daughter, Haddie, from the grip of an eating disorder, guide her teenage son, Henry, through a bumpy adolescence, and reignite the spark in her almost thirty-year marriage to her husband, Will.

Tess is aided on her quest by narrator, Grace, who lends the story its most brilliant elements: subtle magical realism and deep psychological complexity. Is Grace an imaginary friend, guardian angel, or a part of Tess that knows better than she? The Resurrection of Tess Blessing is by turns poignant, gritty, spiritually uplifting, and hilarious as hell.

Lesley Kagen has created an unforgettable, redemptive story about a middle-aged woman with the odds stacked against her, who discovers that in the end, love really does conquer all.

Received for review.

I was sure that this would be a depressing read since it's supposed to be about a woman dying of cancer but it actually turned out to be annoying and quite disappointing.

Tess had a horrible childhood and she whines about it at every available moment whether it is relevant to the current situation or not.  The woman is nearly fifty and still complaining about her mother's actions when she was twelve.  I frankly just wanted to smack her half the time.

Continuing on the "poor me" theme is her list of things to do before she dies.  None of them actually involve her life and evolution as a person, but are about changing other people.  She wants to make her husband love her again, "save" her daughter from an eating disorder, blah, blah, blah.  Even her list has a whiny victim mentality.  Her list should include minding her own damn business and not being such a meddling bitch.  Unfortunately, it doesn't.

This was not inspiring or endearing or even enjoyable.  Every time I picked it up it irritated me and I had to put it down again.

If you enjoy reading about whiny, annoying women who revel in their supposed victimhood then this is an excellent read for you.  Otherwise, I'd recommend giving it a wide berth.  It's just not worth it.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay

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